Southgate to decide on armband
Gareth Southgate will decide whether between Gary O¿Neil and Stewart Downing as to who will captain Middlesbrough on Saturday.
By Graeme Bailey
Last Updated: 26/09/08 3:31pm
Gareth Southgate will decide whether between Gary O'Neil and Stewart Downing as to who will captain Middlesbrough on Saturday against West Brom.
Emanuel Pogatetz is suspended, whilst former skipper Julio Arca is out injured after suffering a setback in training.
The likes of Roberth Huth and David Wheater had been suggested but Southgate has confirmed that it will be either O'Neil or Downing.
"Poggy will be a loss because he enjoys leading the team," said Southgate.
"But we're without him for three games and we have to deal with that.
"He's been an excellent captain for me. He wants to lead and it's his first sending off since he came to us and that side of his game has improved enormously and that was never a consideration.
"It's between Gary O'Neil and Stewart Downing and I'll sleep on it overnight.
"I've had a conversation with one of the players about it and I will firm that decision overnight."
Baggies' Boro links
Southgate is looking forward to facing West Brom on Saturday who are led by Boro legend Tony Mowbray and also have the likes of James Morrison and Jonathan Greening in their squad.
"He's obviously greatly respected at our club both by the fans and by the staff, a lot of whom played under him as captain - the likes of Colin Cooper and Stephen Pears - they speak in glowing terms about him as a character and, as when he came back before, he will be warmly welcomed by everybody," Southgate said of Mowbray.
Southgate also insisted he was pleased to see how Morrison was progressing, after selling him to The Baggies.
"We're delighted to see how James has progressed," he said.
"We knew he was a young player with talent and it was great credit to him that he wanted to go and play first team football. We felt he would get games but at that stage not as many as he wanted.
"There was no question he would come through but he wanted to be playing every week. Very often people will sit happy not to play - and he wanted to play.
"That, coupled with the fact that at the time the money helped us to go out and buy Luke Young.
"The deal was right for us financially and I'm pleased it's working out for him and he's back in the Premier League."